Members of the Global Air Cargo Advisory Group (GACAG) outlined five key priorities at The International Air Cargo Association’s (TIACA) Executive Summit in Miami at the opening plenary session on 19 October, writes Justin Burns.
GACAG is made up of TIACA, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) and the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF), who met to thrash out the most pertinent industry issues moving forward.
Summit delegates were told the main focus areas for GACAG are the safe transport of lithium batteries; effective border security and advance cargo information; efficient border management and trade facilitation; accelerating industry modernisation and minimising environmental impacts.
In the opening plenary session ‘Future Proofing Air Cargo’ TIACA secretary general, Vladimir Zubkov who chaired the session, revealed the priorities and also asked the chief of each association how they see their roles and plan to lead in future.
IATA’s head of cargo, Glyn Hughes said: “We want to lead through the revolutionary things of the industry. No one stakeholder can promote what the industry needs and wants alone and it is about collaborative solutions.
“For IATA it is more leading in the solutions to what the industry needs on a day-to-day basis.”
FIATA secretary general, Robert Voltmann believed it is essential that all the associations emphasise the message that global trade is doing well. He also urged of the need for increased collaboration to make things move faster.
GSF secretary general, Chris Welsh emphasised the need for associations to provide leadership in their prospective domains. He said: “The industry looks to us to take a lead and that why they are members of our trade associations.
“They expect us to move things forward. It is also a lot to do with individuals as it is not just about organisations. We have a common responsibility as representatives of the supply chain to move that along. We have to do what is right for the industry.”
All felt e-commerce can only be a plus for air cargo in the future, although Welsh warned the industry must not be complacent about winning business, explaining how he felt there will be a new level of dynamism from sea freight.
He added: “It (e-commerce) is a big opportunity for air cargo if it gets its supply chain right and the right regulations in place, but we cannot expect it to land in our lap.”
Voltmann also noted as the world’s population continues to focus more on the speed of goods, that bodes well for the air cargo industry as it is the fastest mode of transportation.
In his summary, Zubkov said all the associations need to work together further to show that air cargo is a “facilitator of global trade”.